This post marks my 3,000th post. Overall (which includes 34 posts not by me) there are 1,731,220 words on my blog. Taking the average number of words from the overall posts and the overall words, I have written approximately 1,711,818 of those words. That’s a lot of words.
As Mirinda would no doubt say, that’s quite a few best selling novels. As I tell her it could also be a very dull, non-selling historical tome about anchors…without photographs and illustrations.
Also, in other record breaking news, today marked the first five consecutive mornings of going to the gym. I feel it’s a PB not often to be repeated. It’s going to be rare that I can manage every morning so it’s important that I note it here.
While writing about stats, here’s a few about the new Elizabeth Line being built by Crossrail. The line will run for 118 kilometres mostly under London. It will start in Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the East and end up at Reading and Heathrow in the West. During construction eight huge boring machines were built and used (called Sophia and Mary – Brunel wives, Victoria and Elizabeth – long reigning Queens, Jessica and Ellie – Olympic and Paralympic champions and Ada and Phyllis – Lovelace and the woman who created the London A-Z). Seven million tonnes of soil, rocks and other material were removed and deposited in farm, industrial and wetland areas for reuse. And, of course, tens of thousands of archaeological objects were excavated.
It was some of these objects that I went and saw today at the Museum of London, Docklands Tunnel exhibition. Dawn went a few weeks ago and recommended it and, given I decided to check the flat for any sign of the book we’ve been expecting (it wasn’t there) I figured it was a good day to go.
And what a lovely exhibition it is. There’s quite a few human remains (which excited Dawn), bits and pieces of rubbish from different eras and quite a large section on the Thames Ironworks (which excited me).
In keeping with the circular construction, the exhibition goes round in a circle with big videos of boring and finished tunnel appearing every now and then. Each of the major areas are signposted, highlighting the objects found there. A delightful way to wile away some time.
Oddly (given this is the 21st century and I thought this sort of thing had remained in the Middle Ages), the final (or first depending on your direction of travel) object is an icon of St Barbara. At first I thought it was a remarkable survivor (it looks very new and unblemished) but I was wrong. In fact it was made especially for the miners, to look after them.
They walked by it every day on the way to work, presumably hoping that St Barbara would watch over them because they didn’t think the science and engineering was good enough. It also made me wonder how all the other religions felt about having a Catholic saint watching them. Unsafe, perhaps? I would have preferred Kali.
Then, rather than leave her there to protect the future passengers, maintenance and repair crews, she was returned to the surface and now looks down on exhibition visitors in some sort of ritualistic mumbo jumbo. Sweet and cute but, of course, completely pointless.
By the way, I think I’ve mentioned somewhere else on the blog that you can always tell when it’s St Barbara because she is always depicted with a tower. I thought this was delightfully ironic given she was watching over people building a tunnel.
All in all, a lovely exhibition well worth visiting with the added benefit of heavenly protection.
There are three things I don’t particularly like about Canary Wharf. One of them is the wind caused by the canyoning of the skyscrapers. I dislike it most when I forget to leave my hat at home. Bloody wind!